Reflection on dreams: Oren Levi

graphic by Avery Hom

How has your overall experience been when it comes to dreaming?

Honestly, lately, if I have been dreaming, I don’t really remember it. I do remember a lot of very vivid dreams from when I was much younger — elementary to middle school, maybe.

 

Do you think the content of your dreams has changed as you’ve aged?

Probably. Like I said, I don’t really remember very many dreams now, but they’re certainly not as fantastical as they once were. They’re much more realistic now … I think it just shows a shift in priorities. So if dreams are your subconscious sorting out your thoughts, then obviously my subconscious cares about different things now than it did when I was younger.

 

Could you give an example?

I’ve had dreams about my daughter — nothing bad, just doing things with [her]. I used to have dreams about having superpowers. The most vivid one I remember is a dream that happened over the course of three nights, continuously — like three chapters — where I was at a family friend’s house, and I was being chased around by their pet chicken. This must’ve been when I was around eight [years old], and so it took me three nights of this dream to figure out how to get this chicken to stop bothering me. So those were the dreams I used to have. Now, it’s more of my family, my daughter, [and] work. I’ve definitely had the dream where I come to school for the first day, and I get there late, … don’t have my lessons planned, and can’t find the classroom.

 

Do you find that the dreams that you do remember have any special significance?

I don’t know why I remember those dreams specifically. I used to keep a dream journal by writing my dreams down and sending them to my grandfather while he was alive. So the ones that I remember are probably the ones that I managed to get written down. There are several dreams that I remember very vividly, and those are the ones that I managed to record; once I stopped recording them, I think I stopped remembering them.

 

What were your motivations for creating a dream journal?

I would tell my grandfather about my dreams, and he said that I should write them down. That was basically it. I’m a person of science, so I’m not much into believing in the mysticism behind what … dreams mean. Though, I think, having a dream where I don’t have my lesson plans ready is self-explanatory of how I’m anxious about coming back to school.

 

Do you find that the dreams you have remembered impact the day you lead after you wake up?

I don’t really take them to heart all that much because I know they’re dreams. I know my wife does. [She] has dreams — like horrible nightmares — of things happening to me or things happening to my daughter, because those are the anxieties she has. So, the next day, she’s kind of shaken up.

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